Mark Zuckerberg: Now is the time for your Oversight Board

Like Mark Zuckerberg, I defend freedom of expression. Two days ago, I wrote this post about the value of hearing many voices, about history’s lessons regarding the protection of speech. But Donald Trump’s unfettered use of Facebook to sow division and encourage violence is not a matter of freedom of expression. There is no requirement […]

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Speech is not harmful: A lesson to be relearned

Be careful what you clamor for. You demand that platforms deal with harmful speech. Then he whose speech is thus affected unleashes the dogs of Trump. They harass the platform and its employees for exercising their freedom of speech. They threaten to limit freedom of expression for everyone on that platform and the net — including you. […]

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Sprouts from the ashes

Our house was already on fire; COVID threw gunpowder on the flames. In this piece for Tortoise, I surveyed the damage to our field. Now I will look at some hopeful sprouts rising from the ashes. First, to be clear: There is no messiah that will save us overnight; our messiahs have all been false. […]

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A conversation with Steak-umm’s Twitter voice, Nathan Allebach

I just had a delightful conversation with the voice behind Steak-umm’s Twitter, Nathan Allebach, who — from the platform of a frozen meat brand — has brought sanity, rationality, and empathy to the discussion online in the midst of this pandemic. I did this mainly for journalism students and journalists, for there is much to learn from […]

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The open information ecosystem

Media are no longer the deliverers of information. The information has already been delivered. So the question now for journalists is how — and whether — we add value to that stream of information. In this matter, as in our current crisis, we have much to learn from medicine. In microcosm, the impact of the new, open information ecosystem […]

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COVID Journalism: Episodes 1-3

I have been interviewing experts in COVID-19 to give journalists advice about how to cover the crisis. In our Social Journalism program at the Newmark Journalism School, we believe community journalism must start with listening to the community. Well, science journalism must start with listening to the scientists. This is why I have been maintaining […]

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9/11-19

I didn’t realize how affected I have been by the trauma of COVID-19 until today, when the death toll in America passed that of 9/11, when the cumulative stress of seeing medical workers suffer and scientists wonder and politicians bungle piled too high, when I found myself snapping for no good reason, when the pain […]

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Time for Experts

In this novel crisis, we in media and online need to shift much of our attention away from trying to eradicate disinformation (and how’s that going?) to spend more of our time and resources once again finding and amplifying good information — authoritative information from experts. That is why I am maintaining and immersing myself in my […]

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Stop. Stop the presses.

At the end of an exceptional first week for our new program in News Innovation and Leadership at the Newmark J-school, the students — five managing editors, a VP, a CEO, and many directors among them — said they learned much from teachers and speakers, yes, but the greatest value likely came from each other, from the candid lessons […]

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